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I Forge Iron

Need suggestions for heating element material

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Im posting it in this forum because im really not sure what category this falls into.
Ok... Im starting a top secret forging project on a dare from my girlfriend.
What I need is a material much like that used in electric heating elements.
It has to be able to reach at least 2200F rather quickly and it must be tough at that temperature. Not brittle or overly soft. And has to be somewhat shapeable. I cant say much about the project just yet but is there any such material that comes to mind ?

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Lmao pft. Ok.
Im not really looking for metal...
But it sounds like your thinking what im thinking... Nintendo lol
Its only secret because its a bit embarrassing to say im even attempting it. Im expecting ill get some heat for this (pun intended)
Yes its a very hot blade. Im only interested out of curiosity to see if it can be done.
Im looking at carbon wire that can reach 3000F but it gets brittle.
Any typical blade material would be destroyed obviously.
Im thinking of ideas like a ceramic blade with carbon idk... Still has brittle factor.
Then theres issue of powering it.
Im used to forges and typical blade steels but this is something else.
It may or may not be possible... Who knows. Ive done more things in my life people have told me couldn't be done.
Its got me interested.
I know its not typical of something discussed on this forum. But im reading and asking around.
I figure if anybody might have a few ideas it would be other knife makers and blacksmiths.

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You might start investigating things that get hot but need to be tough---say jet engine turbine blades or space shuttle engine components...
As for heating perhaps an induction forge/sheath so as you draw it, it heats up!

Thats a great idea! I can think of one or two such things. Ill look into that.

Theres no specific material to be cut or specific thickness.
Its mostly just to see if it can be done but I dont really like blades that are all look and cant perform. Considering the tall order If it can chop a cucumber in half I would be happy.
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not sure why 2200F came up,  If 1200F is acceptable you can use H13, it will be glowing red at that temp

1200 thats not bad either. I was thinking 2200 because I was thinking that would be a good glow but really 1200 would be decent as well.
BTW I see you have fenris forge. A while back I was discussing potential names for the forge. One of my top three choices was fenris forge lol. I didnt know you already had that name.

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I don't know if it will be any help, but we used to recycle old electric heater coils to make feather cutters for arrows.  We'd use a simple cone resistor and shape the wire to the feather profile... securing it so that it almost touched the arrow shaft as it was rotated by hand and it would burn all the fletches to the same profile with great accuracy!  The wires were NOT sharp... just burned their way through the feathers.  

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Thats sort of one idea I was thinking about. Looking at high temp carbon heater coil wire.
Trying to see if theres a way to perhaps incorporate it into the blade or run it inside a blade somehow... Then theres the issue of a blade material that can handle the heat.
It could be that its just not possible but I would like to find out anyway. Keeps me from getting bored lol.

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They use them in surgeries.  My wife was watching as a surgeon showed his off to a rep... split all of his stitches open and blamed the nurses for it!!! He had it set too high to do what he was wanting to demonstrate!  They also use them for eye surgeries... can be programmed to work to complex tolerances not possible with manual controls!  Imagine a tool that could cut a leg off... or cut just halfway through the skin of that leg... they exist!!!  

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Okay, how about letting us know the basic performance envelope of this secret project blade?  Is the blade supposed to function at heat? Are you thinking of ways to perhaps fire a ceramic blade?


If you want a ceramic blade it's being done, zirconium silicate is a ceramic that needs high temp sintering but yields a superb knife glass sharp and tough enough to shave lesser blades. It will also take stupid hot temps, you could probably fry potato chips while you sliced them if you could keep it hot.


Frosty The Lucky.

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Nichrome comes to mind.

I have some .109" dia rods at home that I am currently drawing a blank on the name, but they are used for heating elements. The main element is nickel. Something in the 80% range.

We run a high temp stainless at work that is used on the F16 , it is A286 which also has a high nickel content. I have some bar ends around 6_7" long if you want to forge a blade out. Hasteloy, Inconel, etc are all high temp alloys.

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Wow this is great looks like theres a lot more possible options than I had anticipated. This could get interesting.
The basic performance envelope is a blade that can glow with heat looking a bit like a blade fresh out of the forge.
And can slice at temp... Not thinking of a rugged chopper. No pounding nails with it or anything.
A burn of a few seconds is all it needs. Something like zirconium silicate had crossed my mind.
Thanks for all the help its a lot more than I had hoped for !

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